To conduct the current lifecycle assessment in accordance with international ISO standards, SIG Combibloc commissioned IFEU to analyse and evaluate the environmental impacts of combibloc EcoPlus when compared to a conventional SIG Combibloc carton pack of the same format.
The assessment thoroughly examined the combiblocSlimline one-litre format and evaluated key factors and processes of environmental relevance that comes into play throughout the lifecycle of the packaging. The outcome was clear. The comparison of the two packs with respect to CO2 balance – beginning with the acquisition and processing of the raw materials to produce the packaging material and including the manufacture of the carton packs, right up to the final manufactured carton sleeves leaving the SIG Combibloc production plants – shows that with combibloc EcoPlus, CO2 can be reduced by 28%.
New composite structure
The key factor in reducing CO2 with the combibloc EcoPlus is the new composite structure. A special unprocessed cartonboard, made from 80% wood fibre and a renewable source, gives the pack its rigidity and its specific characteristics ensure the contents are protected from light.
Additionally, a new, ultra-thin polyamide layer acts as a barrier to protect against flavour impairment and external odours while fine internal and external layers of polyethylene are also added. The internal polyethylene layer forms a liquid barrier for the product and the external layer keeps moisture out.
To begin with, combibloc EcoPlus is being used for long-life milk and dairy products and, in the future, will be expanded to include aseptic carton packs for non-carbonated juice products. Initially EcoPlus is available for combiblocSlimline (one litre) but further formats are planned.
combibloc EcoPlus carton packs can be processed using the standard filling machines from SIG Combibloc. All that’s required is a one-off adjustment to the filling machine parameters. The filling machines from SIG Combibloc can fill standard carton sleeves as well as combibloc EcoPlus sleeves.